First, I have been a very dedicated and passionate fan of Michigan Football since birth. No, really. It wasn’t an option in our home and if I wanted to spend any quality time with my dad on Saturdays, I put on my game day clothes and watched. And thus I became a die hard Michigan fan, first by order of the commander in chief (my dad) then by choice.
Second, I was also a serious supporter of Rich Rodriguez and I still dislike (despise) the way he was treated by many involved with the university. So…how is it that I became a Hokeamaniac?
It all started on a cold winter day so long, long ago, following the darkest of days.
It began with Brady Hoke’s introductory press conference held in Ann Arbor. Of course I was glued to the television, waiting with bated breath, heart pounding, hands sweating and clenched. (I have witnesses!) The first inkling that maybe, just maybe, this Brady Hoke hire was better than anyone thought was when David Brandon said Hoke didn’t ask about pay when he accepted the job and the only other coach he knows of who didn’t ask about pay was Bo Schembechler.
WHOA! I get that. If Michigan called and asked me to coach I wouldn’t ask about pay either. Then Hoke opened with this statement “We would have WALKED to the University of Michigan.” and I kid you not, I had chills.
Then Hoke was asked why some people no longer consider Michigan to be an elite job and his face was stricken with horror. Not feigned horror, but legitimate horror and he seethed as he said “For God’s sake…it’s Michigan!” demanding to know who on earth would say such a thing. Again, chills.
And now a smile. And the warm feeling that told me this was a guy who wasn’t here for the wrong reasons. He was here for the right reasons. He LOVES Michigan.
Next AH-HA moment?
When talking about THE RIVALRY Brady referred to THAT school as “that school down in Ohio.” and talked about how the rivalry is not just a game, it’s THE GAME and it’s personal. Oh Yes!! He gets it. He will be driven to beat them. The players will be driven to beat them. They will eat, sleep, and breathe beating That School In Ohio!
And then, Brady Hoke sealed the deal and made me a believer. Well actually he had me at “hello” but this last statement made the chills semi permanent along with the grin.
Brady Hoke then addressed the very division I had despised when RR was our coach and he said what my heart had felt. “It’s sad that this great university and this great program and the tradition has divisions…How DARE us divide what Michigan is!” And with that, this die hard Michigan fan became a Hokeamaniac.
Bring it on!!
Is it September YET????